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Special Project

Special Project
From the 2nd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Refinery29 x Cancerland

Entered in Multi-Platform Campaign


Roughly 100 people die every day of breast cancer in the U.S. — and virtually all of these deaths are from metastatic breast cancer. That's individual people — moms, daughters, sisters, friends — multifaceted women for whom cancer is just one thing, not everything. Throughout October, we told the stories of these women who found strength in their sense of self, power in their beauty, and who refused to let an incurable, deadly disease tell their story for them.

Strategy and Execution

Refinery29's Short Cuts x #Cancerland video series aimed to raise awareness and humanize patients of Stage IV metastatic breast cancer by combining beauty tutorials with powerful testimonials, and supportive content distributed throughout Refinery29's social and site platforms.

The tutorials focused on beauty concerns that were relevant to cancer patients, while also applicable to larger masses, helping combat chemotherapy symptoms including eyebrow and hair loss, skin luster, and lip dehydration. The theme of the campaign was reclaiming identity through makeup. Our goal was to expand our content beyond beauty tutorials by challenging our audience to be receptive to consuming harder-hitting subject matter. Refinery29's ethos is rooted in inclusivity, and our #Cancerland partnership allowed us to integrate that core value into the content we make for mass consumption.

On site we featured powerful first person stories and serviceable articles with visually arresting photography in a custom built landing page. We engaged our audience in a powerful discussion with metastatic patients, doctors, and experts via Facebook Live, generating real time conversation between viewers and panelists. After capturing our audience's hearts and informing their minds, we challenged them with action, taking to Washington alongside hundreds of metastatic women to stage a die in march on the White House lawn and meet with senators, encouraging them to recognize metastatic breastcancer on the ACA bill, which would grant them state funding.

By humanizing metastatic patients through our original video and photography series, we garnered awareness early on in October, which gave the content momentum as we continued campaigning on the streets of Washington. At this point, the #Cancerland campaign had an avid group of support, extending beyond Refinery29's core female audience to activists, with all followers joining together in solidarity- including our celebrity endorsement from Mira Sorvino.


The result? A powerful mission driven yet serviceable cross platform content series that aggregated over 7.7mm views and 62k engagement metrics. Beyond quantitative, the emotionally charged and engagement from our viewers showcased how our community bonded in showing solidarity for metastatic patients, with many sharing personal stories or offering words of encouragement. The campaign also drove 15% increase in donations throughout its flight, a testimony to how our collaboration was truly able to generate change and improve livelihood for patients. The bill we passed was tangible evidence to the power of creating true social change.


Video for Refinery29 x Cancerland

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Refinery29, #Cancerland


Entry Credits